Fat talk is something 93 percent of women engage in, every day. NINETY-THREE percent of us are talking about how we wish we could just lose those extra 15 pounds, how we don’t fit in our skinny jeans anymore, about how our necks are drooping (maybe that’s my own personal demon). Lots of us make belittling comments about ourselves under our breath:
‘I look so fat in this.‘
‘Ug! I’m so disgusting!’ ‘
‘I used to have an amazing rack but now I’m so saggy. I want a boob job.’
Take stock and think about it: how often do you make negative body image remarks to yourself or others. If you’re thinking it, you’re emulating it, so that counts too. But guess what? It doesn’t have to be that way, and you and I are going to be the solution to end fat talk NOW.
Like, right now.
I engaged in all sorts of self loathing in high school. From terrible comments about my: (fill in the blank) _________ , to a self destructive eating disorder and negative self talk (the stuff you keep inside your own brain).
But as I left high school and went on to college I figured stuff out. It took years and years, and plenty of therapy before I realized there are far more important things in the world, in my world, to waste any time at all having negative thoughts about my body and myself. It’s crap, period. A waste of time, energy, mental resources, and a negative black hole of suckage for society.
I vowed never to make comments of any kind when I had kids, and when I learned my first child was a girl, it sealed the deal. How many mothers do you know who make seriously destructive comments to their kids about what they eat, wear, how they look, what their hair looks like?
Sadly, probably a lot.
From the time my baby girl was tiny, we talked about how beautiful she is, on the inside. How beautiful her brain is, what a healthy body she has, how good she is at: (fill in the blank) _______ .
Then she came home the first day of Kindergarten and said to me, “I’m too fat to wear these pink corduroy pants anymore. My thighs rub together and make too much noise.”
I can assure you none of that garbage came from my mouth, but another girl in Kindergarten (A FIVE YEAR OLD) was mimicking her own mother by bringing that crap fat talk to school.
Are we kidding with this?
Look at the way my little guy is looking at his older, beloved, worshiped, big sister. He emulates her every move because he wants to be her. He adores the older boys on the swim team and wants to grow up to be just like them. He listens to, and BELIEVES everything that comes out of their mouths. He internalizes every word. Our kids, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family are no different. When terrible garbage comes out of our mouths, people listen. Children listen. Friends listen. Fat talk is absolutely destructive.
It turns out a lot of us say awful things about ourselves so we can beat everyone else to the punch. We can’t keep doing this. We can’t keep promoting this by reading crap gossip magazines all about celebrity bodies and hair and OMG, shedidn’tloseallthepregnancyweight!
So every day when I talk to my daughter, we talk about things: politics, school, homework, swim, friends, the economy. I don’t engage in any nonsense with either of my children (the boy stuff isn’t far behind what the girls say to each other), and my husband and I do a lot of positive talk about OTHER THINGS than visible appearances. Are we perfect? No, far from it. But we’re encouraging our kids to play an instrument, learn the game of chess, serve others, work hard in school, talk about world topics, and exercise to have enough energy to be good citizens of humanity.
What ideas do you have? How has fat talk affected you? It’s serious business, but we can change the negative dialogue, we absolutely can. I’d love to hear what you think about all this. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Thanks to Special K for kick-starting the fight to end fat talk by sponsoring posts like this one. Visit Fight Fat Talk to learn more (scary!) statistics about all this, and take part in the conversation using the hashtag #FightFatTalk to help SHHHHut down Fat Talk.